Padre Canyon

Categories: Utah

The Padre Canyon Trail in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve can be done as a 7 mile loop that passes through Snow Canyon State Park. Walking down from the pass, the trail intersects with the Three Pools trail. The loop is connected by a 1 mile connector trail at the Johnson Canyon parking lot, but this trail is closed from March thru September so the loop can only be done in winter, unless you climb over the mountain, which is also possible. Sound confusing? You can always just go up to the pass and back.

The trail starts at Tuacahn Amphitheater.

After some awkward skirting of private property the canyon narrows and begins ascending.

There are cool arches in formation on both sides of the upper canyon.

Up near the top of the pass. From the parking lot it’s about a 600 foot ascent overĀ about 1.5 miles.

The back side of the pass. From here the trail descends 400 feet to the Three Pools trail.

Yucca blooms

Yucca blooms look prehistoric in their simplicity.

This area is my favorite part of the hike. A surprise stretch of open slickrock.

It’s steeper than it looks and Kona was a bit scared.

Really neat area on two different days. On sunny days in the shade the rocks reflect a lot of the blue sky.

A cloudy day after some recent rain.

A lot of cool textures in this area. There’s an arch up there I never noticed my first time through.

I decided to check out that arch. This wall was an obstacle.

Moss and fins

The back of the arch looked completely different from the other side.

An overview of the slickrock area from up at the arch.

Exiting via the Three Pools trail.

If you parked at Tuacahn Amphitheater this is the last leg of the hike. If you parked at Johnson Canyon this is the beginning.

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